Donna Byars named head softball coach at Polk State

Polk State College has named Donna Byars as its new head softball coach. 

Byars comes to Polk State from Bartow High School, where she served as head softball


In her first two seasons as head coach, she led Bartow to a final four appearance in 2015 and a state championship in 2016. She was named FACA Coach of the Year and The Lakeland Ledger Coach of the Year. 

"This is a dream come true," Byars said about coming to Polk State. 

"I am very thankful and looking forward to the opportunity to help the program grow with the additional support of the community and staff at Polk State College." 

She has been a head coach at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, an assistant coach at Lake Region High School in Winter Haven, and an assistant coach for Florida Gold. 

A Bartow High School graduate, Byars played on the Lady Jackets softball team that won the school's first state championship in 1997. 

After playing four years of softball at Bartow High School, Byars attended Daytona State College on a softball scholarship and then transferred to the University of North Florida to play softball for two years.  She earned All Region and All Conference team honors at UNF in 2003. 

Byars graduated from UNF with a degree in health science and a minor in education. 

She starts at Polk State on August 1.

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